Since Luke's passing I have wanted to share our experience with you; perhaps shedding some light on home euthanasia. It goes without saying that all home euthanasia's will not be the same. We were very lucky that ours was very good. Luke's specialist gave us two numbers to call when the time came, which she knew was near. I also called another of our Veterinarians for a recommendation. He gave me one name and it was one of the two that my specialist had given us. With the information at hand I visited the website of one, Home Pet Euthanasia. I yelped the service and the same Vet. came up with 5 stars.
When the time came and it came fast, I made the call and asked questions. They asked very few questions, only what was needed and the appointment was made. We had never had a home euthanasia; all of our dogs before had been emergency situations. But it is still not a great place to say good bye. My husband and I had discussed saying good bye to Luke and we had decided to go with home. It was all about Luke and we wanted him to slip away peacefully.
Thursday January 15th we said good bye. The day before I had rushed Luke to the vet as he wavered and could not get up. His liver mass had gotten unbelievably huge, very fast and was now bleeding. The cancer had also moved to his lungs causing him to cough. The said "things have changed drastically." We talked in detail about when. If I needed to do it right then, I would. I am not one of those who keeps my dogs around just for me. With the Vets recommendation and blessing I took him home to dote on him as much as we could. We also discussed that a decision would need to be made very soon. It was the end.
Luke rallied somewhat with drugs that were given to him to slow the bleeding process. He even peed and pooped that morning and ate his breakfast like a champion. My husband and I spent the entire day with him. I fed him everything that he loved; chips, fishies, two full packages of turkey cold meat, homemade cookies, you name it. He ate everything. But he was weak, it was inevitable. By 1:00 that afternoon the decision was made. We did not want Luke to suffer, nor did we want him to rupture like Tilley had and end up in the ER. I made the call, the call that no one wants to make.
Dr. Forslund arrived on time. I had no idea what to expect, we'd never done this before. But from the moment she entered our home I knew we had made the right decision. She gave me a huge hug as soon as we met and she brought with her a peaceful sort of Zen. She met my husband, giving he a very meaningful hug as well. Then she met Luke, she'd already met Elsa at the front door. She carried a blanket and tiny wooden stool with her that I wondered about until she tucked it under her legs as she knelt to talk to Luke. We talked a long time, she listened.
She listen and gave us time; we had the time we needed and never felt rushed. Every question was answered and our whole home fell peaceful. Even Elsa was quieter than normal. We talked about where Luke should leave us. "His spot" on the couch was chosen. Steve and I had taken the whole day to say our good byes, it was time. We set him on the couch, made him comfortable and his leg was shaved for the iv. Moments later Luke decided he wasn't comfortable and wanted down. We let him down and he staggered out to the yard and peed. I smiled knowing how much he loved his yard, his domain. Then the spot was changed, it would be done on Luke's lounge. The place he loved to sit for hours and keep watch over his domain. Dr. Forslund moved everything outside without blinking. When we were not in discussion with her, it was like she was not there; except for the peaceful aura she brought with her.
Everything was explained before she did anything and at each step. Luke left us on his lounge. With his head resting in his Momma's hand, his Dad stroking his head and Elsa by his side. There was a peacefulness about the entire process and when he left it was with the same quiet peace. Every dog parent wants their dog to die peacefully in their sleep. Sadly that is rare. This was the very last act of love we could give our boy.
It was far more peaceful than I had anticipated. If you are considering home euthanasia, do your research. I have heard some not so great things about the process but ours was wonderful. It is a very sad time but the transition can be made easier by kindness and compassion. Dr. Forslund was wonderful.
Dr. Forslund had told us how important it was for Elsa to be there. She said that there is a very brief moment of realization for them. A second after Luke passed we called Elsa to him, she sniffed for only a second and was taken back. Dr. Forslund, asked "did you see that?" Of course I had, it was the moment that Elsa knew. From that moment she kept her distance, moving in now and again to sniff. When the time came to take Luke to her vehicle Elsa did panic as Luke was wrapped up and carried out. She sniffed him madly and then ran up to my office to watch as he was placed in her van.
Elsa did not look for him although she did wait at the door on Friday evening. I imagine just hoping that he was coming back. Since then she has been sad but not looked for him. It was important for her to see what happened. And now we try to move on.
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